BANGALORE: Appealing to authorities to lift the blanket ban on all mining activities in the state, the Federation of Indian Minerals Association claimed that the ban had caused losses to the tune of over Rs 20,000 crore. Interacting with mediapersons in Bangalore on Wednesday, association director Pichaimuthu said losses were increasing due to the ban. “Royalty expected was Rs 800 crore and railways have lost business to the tune of Rs 4,800 crore,” he claimed. The forum stated that the estimated VAT losses was Rs 300 crore and Rs 3,000 crore for export duty.
The body complained that the government had claimed that ore in the state would only last for 15-20 years. “This is a fear not founded on facts. The only authentic source to obtain figures is the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) under the Ministry of Mines,” they said. As per IBM, there was 1.68 billion tonnes, and this had gone up to 2.16 billion tonnes as on April 1, 2010 in spite of over 200 MT having been extracted in this period, they said.
They said IBM had stated that the state had nearly eight billion tonnes of Magnetite ore. “More exploration should be carried out,” they said. They raised concerns that even if the ‘Category A’ mines were asked to resume mining, their average mining would be in the range of 10 million tonnes.